Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEHTA Unaccountability Just Rolls On. It Is A Serious Worry I Believe.

The following appeared yesterday.

NEHTA HR bill off limits

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • October 20, 2010 3:10PM

OPPOSITION calls for details of the National E-Health Transition Authority's spending have once again been rebuffed by the Health Department.

In replies to outstanding Senate estimates questions from June 3, Health yesterday released year-old figures for NEHTA's expenditure on contractors and consultants.

With Health back before the Community Affairs committee today and e-health matters on the agenda for tonight at an estimates hearing, Health belatedly supplied information from NEHTA's 2008-09 annual report, published last October 29, among a flurry of answers over the past week which saw the portfolio file expand from around 230 pages to 772 by the close of business yesterday.

The department's response simply repeats the 2008-09 financial statements showing NEHTA spent $56.4 million on consultants and contractors that year, up from $13.4m in 2007-08.

More here:

Yesterday we had the Secretary of the Department of Health saying at Senate Estimates she could not control NEHTA but if she wanted anything she had to, essentially, ask nicely.

Now we have this.

I really wonder if our parliament is actually running the country or not. If it was then the views and concerns of Senators would be treated with a great deal more respect I believe.

With the bizarre Government we have had over the last three years with sudden unconsulted announcements and so one I really wonder just what is going on.

The last government effort was Senator Conroy saying he would legislate adoption of the NBN. One wit quickly asked “Why would that be needed if it was so good?”

See here:

Minister threatens to use law to force people on NBN if states revolt

Georgina Robinson and Ben Grubb

October 21, 2010 - 11:03AM

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says he will wield federal law as a weapon to force people on to the national broadband network (NBN) if the states and territories don't make connections mandatory.

"We are working our way through the issues with the states and ... we ultimately would consider if we can't reach settlement, mandating it through the federal parliament. But we prefer to be engaged with the states," Senator Conroy said, speaking to this website from Parliament House yesterday.

He added that the federal government hadn't "exhausted those conversations yet". He also said that the matter of a connection being mandated was "not a new issue".

Hardly a core Labor value to stuff technology that people may not want or need down their throat! Maybe they will legislate iPads or Pay TV next?

This was then added to today as the Shadow Treasurer (Joe Hockey) witters on about re-regulation of banking system for pure political theatre and populist appeal - talk about giving up on basic Liberal values and throwing integrity out the window.

Heaven spare us from either mob. I wonder who is actually running things. NEHTA perhaps? Or maybe there is some wacky gas affecting all of Canberra - who knows? There is something going on that feels pretty odd to me!

Sorry for some of this being political comment but it all seems really that this odd 'hung' political environment has had all sorts of, usually reasonably sane, people just 'slip their moorings'!



OsirisRa said...

So NEHTA just chews up almost 1.5 billion dollars, spends it on what ever they feel like and they don't have to acoount for anything or tell any one?. That's just great! Keep up the great work NEHTA, keep on living the high life on more money than you can shake a stick and at and keep E-health so far in the dark ages we may as well start praying to the nearist rock for all the help you are NEHTA.

All I can say is...WTF!!

Anonymous said...

WTF!! I agree with OsirisRa but let me also say this - the senior bureaucrats (Departmental Secretaries) in DOHA and at State and territory level created NEHTA. For years they have been warned by all and sundry and done nothing. Now they say they can do nothing because they have no control over their creation. So NEHTA continues stumbling along and everyone is helpless to do anything about it. The money has been allocated.

Anonymous said...

"The money has been allocated." ............ indeed it has. And what has been spent so far has been pretty well wasted. And that which has been allocated and yet to be spent will go the same way. There is only one thing to do ........despair.

Anonymous said...

How can the jurisdictions say NEHTA is unaccountable when its shareholders are .... yes, the jurisdictions. And its Board members are ... yes, the jurisdictions. NEHTA is government and government is NEHTA. Anything else is a dissembling fiction.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh dear Anon October 22 10:50:00 AM .... the bureaucracy is a master at creating a mirror of deception.

This time however they have gone way too far and got knotted up in a quagmire of absolute incompetence which has got way way out of control and they have no idea what to do about it. All they do is make it worse.

David Gonski, the Chairman of NEHTA, more than likely is oblivious to it all. All he does is Chair the Meetings and listen to (and believe) whatever fairy floss stories they want to give him.

Anonymous said...

The longer it goes on the bigger the fallout and after the last election I would have thought that the government would have been sniffing out initiatives that were off the rails and dealt with them in the first year.

Alas, this is not the case. After we waste the 467M on the "plan" for personal health records with little to show - and that's a near certainty - the coalition is going to have another example of government bungling to highlight in the next election.

There is evidence, form the oecd, that direct government spending on R&D does little and that you are far better encouraging small to medium companies to innovate while enforcing standards. The Nehta approach is actively hostile to private sector innovation and standards despite a complete lack of success with the top down central authority model.

If the government do not stop the rot it will be back to haunt them before the next election. The coalition bloodhounds appear to have the scent, despite the huge doses of PR deodorant and we all know Nehta is rotten at its core.

Poring good money after bad can not hide the stench past the next election, it barely made it past the last one.